Common Mistakes in Designing Home Inspection Logos

by Levi Nelson, InterNACHI® Marketing Team


Having designed thousands of logos for InterNACHI® members – and re-designed many DIY concepts submitted by members – I've found a few common issues that hobble their effectiveness.

Here are six of them:

1. Adding too much to a graphic that will be small. 
Your logo should hold up well to scaling. Your name should remain legible and clear even when it's small. When I'm setting up a logo, one of the things I'm always making sure to do throughout the process is to zoom out to look at the logo when it's smaller than an inch wide. A logo is going to be small on a business card and on a website header, so it has to be easy to read at a glance when someone is driving past your yard sign. Above all else, focus on prioritizing the clarity of your name.

2. Having too many rendering effects. 
This happens when someone builds a logo as a raster file rather than as a vector file. Some immediate red flags for this issue are elaborate metallic effects and drop shadows. These kinds of effects are avoided by professional designers because they don’t hold up well to scaling and cause color issues. The more flat and graphic your logo is, the easier the file will be for other designers to work with.

3. Not choosing imagery that creates a strong brand. 
Since the goal of a logo is to get people to remember your specific company name, it makes sense to have a logo that reinforces your name. For example, if your company name is Antelope Home Inspections, you could have an animal symbol or perhaps try to imply that in a letterform design. A logo is not a picture to show people all of the services you provide. The rest of your marketing, the service descriptions, the photos, and the places where you distribute your marketing will clarify all of that. Your logo is mostly about trying to make your name look professional and easy to remember.

4. Using a lengthy company name. 
In logo design, every single letter in a word occupies space. The longer the name is, the more difficult it will be to make a logo that holds up well to scaling, and you'll unintentionally limit the options you'll have when it comes to your logo's design. Adding too many words creates the same problem as overly elaborate graphics.

5. Designing a good logo for the wrong market. 
You're selling home inspections to folks who, in many instances, will be stressed out because they're making a large purchase. A company selling motorcycles is selling to an audience of risk-takers. These two audiences are different groups of people looking for a different experience. It is much better for a home inspector to imply professionalism and friendliness than it is to imply risk. This one is tricky because a logo can look great and still be aimed at the wrong audience. The kind of logos that you and your friends are personally drawn to might be the wrong kind of logo for a home inspector.

6. Never asking the designer what they see. 
I’ve made thousands of logos. It strikes me as strange how infrequently people ask for my opinion about how something looks. The benefit of working directly with a logo designer is that we can see things that you can't, and we have a significant amount of knowledge about how shapes and colors can be interpreted. We know what the shape of a font can communicate to someone looking at your design, and we can see when a font is poorly designed. When you're working directly with a professional, you can and should ask questions about what that person is seeing when they look at your logo.

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Watch this video where Levi explains these concepts and more.

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